Brief by Y. X. Acs


The story must involve an entity (be it  artificial/natural/supernatural/alien/giant-brain/singularity/extradimensional/etc.) that is somehow trying to extract human story archetypes (core human narrative themes). This extraction could be from an individual/collective/database/history-itself/etc., so long as it is attempting to extract deeply-rooted, unconscious, or otherwise “mythic” stories (see plot/structure section for elaboration on this). During the process of extraction the stories are somehow tainted/mixed-up/rearranged/re-genrefied/blended or otherwise melded together.


Everyone is encouraged to include an explanation of why the extraction is i) taking place and ii) why it fails (fragments). These narrative pieces are not, however, strictly necessary.

All stories should include elements from at least two “legendary” or “mythic” tales (fairytales, fables, allegorical stories, religious tales, folk tales, etc.)

In terms of story structure this means, ideally, that the plots/structure of the stories being written by the “other” group draw on the narrative structures of the material using. In other words: an author would somehow be working with the structure of the hero’s journey if they were using a quest tale; teaching a lesson if they’re using an Aesop story; providing an description of human origins if they’re drawing on a genesis story, and so on.

All this to say: writers should try to use the same “story rules” and/or conventions of the stories they’re using, in addition to the familiar characters and other borrowed elements.


The super-win for this brief would be a story whose extraction/failure narrative piece elegantly combines with the “mythic” story-mix that they’re presenting to the audience. This said, the minimum requirement is simply a well-mixed, enjoyable combination of at least two stories. Combinations of more than two stories are, of course, welcome.


I think it would be neat to include references for the stories we’re drawing on. If a story has multiple sources or is particularly well-known (i.e. Rumpelstiltskin), the author can choose whether or not to include a specific reference.

Stories by
Y. X. Acs
Chanel Earl
Suzanne J. Willis
Rhoads Brazos
Filip Wiltgren
Jason Baltazar